'ARTPOP' gets muted 'Applause' for its chart-topping first-week sales.
When is having the No. 1 album in the country not great news? When it's accompanied by disappointing sales figures.
Even though ARTPOP enters the Billboard album chart at No. 1 today, Lady Gaga and Interscope Records have to see the first-week numbers — 258,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan — as a letdown after the massive marketing effort put into rolling out the album.
Not only are those figures far short of the 1.1 million first-week copies of Born This Way Gaga sold in 2011 (though, admittedly, ARTPOP didn't have a 99-cent Amazon sale driving traffic), they're behind the recent debuts of both Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. Last month, Perry's Prism debuted with 286,000 sales, while Cyrus' Bangerz sold 270,000.
According to Billboard, those are the only three 2013 albums by women to debut with more than 150,000 sales.
Gaga's numbers were a third of the sales Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 put up last week. Eminem drops to second this week, with 210,000 sales. The 48th volume of the Now That's What I Call Music! compilations entered the chart at No. 3.
On the plus side, Gaga can say she beat the Beatles. The Fab Four's On Air — Live at the BBC, Vol. 2 debuted at No. 7, selling 37,000 copies. R&B singer Jhene Aiko's Sail Out EP was the week's fourth Top 10 debut, coming in at No. 8.
Eminem also has the week's top track, with Monster, which features Rihanna, getting 211,000 downloads.